It isn’t easy to tell by the group picture, but becoming an Eagle Scout isn’t all that common.
Only about 6 percent of Boy Scouts earn Eagle status. Yet one Lake Wylie group is celebrating five new Eagles. Combined they account for more than 33 years in Boy Scouts (about twice that counting Cub Scouts), 409 nights wilderness camping, 894 miles hiked or canoed, 397 service hours, 151 merit badges and five Eagle Scout service projects.
Here’s a look at the Troop 333 honorees:
Name: Thomas Key
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Project details: Built six trash caddies at Camp Cherokee, a YMCA property at Kings Mountain State Park. They will help with litter control standardize trash collection.
Name: Mattingly Nord
Years Scouting: 10
Project details: Cleared an acre of the Anne Springs Close Greenway of invasive plants and trees. The project helps restore the area for indigenous plants to thrive.
Up next: Nord is a sophomore at Westminster Catawba Christian School, with homes of becoming a Naval officer after school.
Best Scouting memory: The Pisgah National Forest trip. It was cold and pouring down rain. The sun had already set so it was really dark. The bond that was formed in the rainy tent that night was the beginning of a brotherhood. Boys to brothers — that’s what Scouting has taught me.
Name: Steven Tallmadge
Eagle Scout project details: Designed and constructed a sand volleyball court at Gastonia Christian Church. The project encourages fitness and fellowship among members.
Up next: He lives in Columbia now and is studying to be a civil engineer.
Name: John Mark Trainer
Project details: Built a Little Free Library at Bethel Elementary School, including landscaping around the site. The project promotes family literacy in the area.
Up next: The 2016 Clover High School graduate is not attending North Greenville University.
Name: Luke Trowbridge
Years Scouting: 11
Project details: Created a sensory garden at Bethel Elementary School. It included four planter boxes, two benches, a stepping stone walkway and trellis. The project promotes the use of outdoor space at the school.
Best Scouting memory: Hiking through Congaree swamp with friends in the pouring rain (liquid sunshine).
Nationally more than 50,000 boys earn the Eagle Scout rank annually. The number of Eagle Scout awards since 1912 reached 2 million back in 2009.
An inordinately high number have come from Troop 333, which accounts for 76 Eagle Scouts since 1996.